Classic Ford Cortina is a bargain at any price
We all accept that the original Ford Cortina is a true classic, but would you be willing to drop NZ$350,000 on one?
If you immediately shouted ‘‘Yes!’’, then here’s some good news. A 1966 example is heading to auction in the UK early next year and it’s expected to hit that rather substantial sum.
But, it is a rather special Cortina – it is, in fact, one of three ‘‘Group 5’’ factory racing cars that were built by Lotus for the 1966 British Saloon Car Championship and was actually raced by the likes of Graham Hill, Jacky Ickx and the legendary Jim Clark.
Definitely starting to see the value in it now.
The Cortina will be offered for sale by Silverstone Auctions in its debut appearance at the Autosport International at the NEC, Birmingham, on January 12 and is expected to sell for between
£180,000 (NZ$340,000) and £200,000
Officially known as E14 LS, the Cortina was built in March, 1966, registered as PHK 614D and was assigned to Jim Clark for a race meeting at Oulton Park on April 2.
That meeting was disrupted by poor weather and the car didn’t get much running but its next outing at Snetterton a week later was more successful.
Clark’s team-mate and fellow Formula One driver Peter Arundell took it to a second in class and fifth overall in the Archie Scott Brown Memorial Trophy.
Over the next month, two more second-in-class results were achieved at Goodwood and Silverstone, with Arundell and Jacky Ickx driving.
In May, the car was used as a spare car at Crystal Palace and in June the engine was converted to fuel injection by BRM. The first race with the new engine was the Grand Prix support race at Brands Hatch on July 16 where Sir John Whitmore won his class and finished fourth overall.
Arundell secured third place in the 1966 British Saloon Car Championship in the car and, while the first race of 1967 was to be the last works event for the PHK 614D, it did finish its Team Lotus career on a high with Graham Hill delivering a first in class and second overall result in the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch on March 12.
After this the car was sold on and continued to race in the UK and eventually South Africa before it was returned home in 1997 and restored by Cedric Selzar, Jim Clark’s former race mechanic.
Silverstone Auctions says the car is ‘‘presented in race ready condition’’ and, importantly, retains its original shell and all the period race modifications to the suspension and the engine, as well as full details of its works competition history and a ‘‘small number’’ of spares.
Given a Lotus Cortina is a very cool (and very rare) thing, this car, with its competition successes and association with two world champions, is very much worth the expected selling price. Go on – you know you want it.
Would you pay NZ$350,000 for a Ford Cortina? You probably would for this particular one.